The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) must suspend the mandatory use of masks on planes. The topic will be discussed at the meeting of the Collegiate Board of Directors, scheduled for the afternoon of this Wednesday (17/8). The tendency is for directors to approve the change. See the text that will be voted on.
With the likely change, the use of a face mask will be considered recommended, especially for vulnerable people at greater risk of infection by Covid-19, such as the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.
Rapporteur on the topic that will be voted on today, director Alex Machado Campos said he had talked to epidemiologists Wanderson Oliveira and Carla Domingues before casting his vote. He heard from experts that, given the indicators of vaccination coverage, the reduction of serious cases and the sustained trajectory of falling infections, it is possible to suspend the obligation.
“The measures need to be proportionate. They should not be excessive to the point of distancing the citizen from the command of public health. We live in a time when the policies of the pandemic were collective health. The health authority had to lead the containment, restraint process. We are now in a moment of individual responsibility,” he said. “If the measures are not proportionate, they lose adherence. And, in my view, the proportional measure is the recommendation”, he added.
The end of the requirement to wear masks on planes is an old demand by airlines. The topic has been studied by the agency for some time. Faced with the cases of the new smallpox and also the school holidays, Machado Campos thought it advisable to wait to put the matter to a vote. Now, with more information about the behavior of the new smallpox, the discussion can begin. “It was precaution. monkeypox is contact transmission.”
Machado Campos defends, however, the maintenance of disembarkation by rows and also rules for disinfection of the plane. Such measures, in his assessment, should be preserved also considering the care with the new smallpox.
The director notes that conduct related to face mask recommendation and Covid-19 vaccine proof requirements varies by country. “The conduct of other countries represents a rich source of subsidies. But each country has a different reality and this needs to be taken into account. Measurements cannot be automatic.” Machado Campos also said that the topic will continue to be monitored. “If in the future it is necessary to resume the requirement to wear the mask, it will be done. The important thing is to modulate the requirements according to the needs. The agency is guided by evidence and accumulated knowledge.”